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inside the eye of silence

by vivienne spiteri and Rob Godman

eye

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~inside the eye of silence~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

where does sound stop and silence begin, end,
sound, begin?

one of the harpsichord’s best kept secrets lies hidden within her chambered spaces between the
notes, between those plucked strings (the sound of a harpsichord is like two skeletons making
love on a corrugated iron roof) whose piercing sting obliterates all potential revelation of the
secret : her resonance jiuces.

to isolate a single sound, to let the time-life of a solitary plucked string linger, live and rise
through to its natural end, is to reveal all : birth, breath, life, death and rebirth. all swell
with song. skeletons no more this full-bodied dancing sound, laughing and rejoicing, these
rich spectra liberated, escaped from their string prison, these wingéd frequencies, free as air.

air
ah, air
space
air-space
and time
where do air, space and time unite?
“and time is the space your mind moves through” (gwendolyn macewen : “vacuum genesis” from
afterworlds 1987-88)
sound. sound becoming silence through air-travel, through open air, through air within a
space. an enclosed space? of time? time, ah time. sound’s phantom vessel.

where does it wander? what is its voyage?
what is its voyage, never lowering anchor?

to step inside the eye of silence is to listen deeply, to feel it at your ear. for as long as air and
time give it wing, sound-in-silence-in-sound births and breathes itself, expanding,
contracting, like the lungs of a whale, huge and light as air.

enter vitruvius, ah vitruvius. he who knew the secret of the wingéd. his siren-song,
embodied in resonating bronze inside semi-circular spaces of another place, an other time,
drew forth, beguiled and captured the wild and wandering waves, colouring them lively: live,
alive, life. long life. longer still. unending.

enter the spider, weaver of webs, silent siren temptress, vitruvius-collaborator inside the eye,
along her radii.

toronto. chemistry building. hanlan’s point. harpsichord as siren temptress inside the eye,
weaving through space, resonanting her chambers.

listen, dive, fly, let the air wing you
around
space
is time
is sound is
silence
is

infnity’s music

written by vivienne spiteri

photos‘inside the eye of silence’ is the first in a pair of works acting as a prelude to a version with live harpsichord that will take place later next year.

By focusing on the resonance of the harpsichord, the piece explores the inner most world of the instrument, removing the effect of time and physical barriers.

In this pre-recorded version, the instrument’s sound is abstracted from its resonating chamber and spatialized throughout the environment of the Chemistry Building, allowing a listener to move through the harpsichord exploring every nook and cranny.

© Rob Godman August 2002

 

photos by Stefan Rose